Groves: Everyone wants to smash DeGale’s face
By Sean McDaniel: In a battle of unbeaten super middleweights, George Groves (12-0, 10 KO’s) and British champion James DeGale (10-0, 8 KO’s) will go at it on May 21st at the O2 Arena, in Greenwich, London. There is no love lost between these two fighters, as they both genuinely despise each other. Groves likes to point out that he previously beat DeGale, the 2008 Olympic Gold medalist, while the two were both amateurs.
This obviously is something that annoys DeGale, who points out that he’s improved a lot since losing that fight to Groves. However, DeGale looked pretty good in the Groves fight and I had DeGale winning that fight by three rounds to one. DeGale is a much better puncher now compared to then and throws better combinations. Groves is going to have to look a lot better than he did in that fight and his fights as a pro to beat DeGale right now.
In a Sky Sports interview, Groves said “Everyone wants to smash DeGale’s face in. He’s the most arrogant, egotistical fighter out there. Our rivalry comes from the fact James DeGale was Olympic champion but number two in his own gym. When we fought there was a lot of hype about him, but look on Youtube, I beat him. It’s there for everyone to see.”
I saw the fight and I must say I thought DeGale landed the much better shots and appeared to shake Groves up with some hard left hands in that fight. Groves did a decent job of smothering DeGale in the 3rd and 4th, but Groves smothered his own shots in doing so by basically standing so close to DeGale, that he he couldn’t land. It seemed more like Groves was just looking to shut DeGale down offensively rather than taking the fight to him.